The situations of Nicolas Pepe and Tanguy Ndombele have had similarities this summer.
Both players had excellent seasons, for Lille and Lyon respectively, and both are thought to be leaving their clubs. There should likely have been widespread interest in the pair, and the Ligue 1 clubs involved were preparing for a big summer auction.
Yet that hasn’t really happened yet.
Liverpool have been repeatedly linked with Pepe, and although there’s been claims of a €90m offer from Inter Milan, not a lot of people swallowed it. Even the Italian media, who need rumours like they need good food, have barely dipped their toes in after the French claims.
With Ndombele, a potential transfer fee was also talked up to around the €90m figure, and then this week Jean-Michel Aulas said Tottenham’s first offer was €45m.
It could be that the quest for an auction is putting clubs off. That Lille and Lyon, in their attempt to attract buyers, have actually put people off.
For Ndombele, Spurs seems like the only club in town right now, and for Pepe everything feels like it’s at arm’s length.
Saturday’s edition of L’Equipe says: ‘At this point, Inter Milan and Liverpool are still two possible destinations for the Ivorian international. He hopes that the PSG will soon position themselves.’
It’s not exactly advanced stuff is it?!
Liverpool very much remain in the picture, but Jurgen Klopp’s side don’t appear to be doing anything especially serious to try and get a deal done.
There’s still plenty of time.